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A 'Human Tragedy': 1 in 5 Pregnancies End in Abortion, According to New Data

  • Michael Foust Contributor
  • Updated Jun 23, 2022
A 'Human Tragedy': 1 in 5 Pregnancies End in Abortion, According to New Data

New data that shows an increase in the total number of abortions in the United States underscores the need for more restrictive laws, a leading pro-life activist says.

The data by the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute shows there were 930,160 abortions in the United States in 2020 compared to 862,320 in the organization's last report in 2017, which represents an 8 percent increase and the first major uptick in the U.S. in three decades.

Minus a slight bump in the mid-2000s, the number of abortions had been falling gradually since 1990, when there were 1,608,600 abortions.

"Nearly a million American children won't be here to see say their first words or walk their first steps because they were killed by abortion in 2020," said Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action. "The human tragedy of this alleged increase in abortion cannot be overstated."

The 8 percent increase in abortions, she noted, was accompanied by a 6 percent decline in births in the U.S.

The abortion ratio also increased, from 18.4 percent in 2017 to 20.6 percent in 2020 – meaning that one in five pregnancies ended in abortion.

"These numbers are a searing indictment of our society and a harsh picture of our civilizational atrophy towards the ability to love and care for our children," she said.

Pro-life restrictions on abortion, she said, save lives. Rose pointed to Missouri, which enacted multiple pro-life restrictions and saw the number of abortions fall 96 percent from 2017 (4,710) to 2020 (170), according to Guttmacher's own data.

"This decline in abortion tracks with the numbers we have seen out of Texas, which has seen its monthly abortion numbers cut in half since a law protecting children from their first detected heartbeat went into effect last September," she said. "Protections for life like those passed recently in Texas, Oklahoma, and elsewhere across the nation are not reflected in the data released this morning, but we can be encouraged that these laws do work to stop abortion. We must act boldly to pass even stronger protections for life immediately."

America, she noted, "has some of the highest abortion rates and most extreme pro-abortion laws in the world."

"It's time to change that," Rose said. "Abortion restrictions save innocent lives, and we need them more than ever."


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Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/SabdiZ

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.